Elizabeth Bagaya was the first runner up in the Miss Uganda 2019/2020 pageant. Her chance to the crown came in 2021 when she replaced Oliver Nakakande who was caught up pursuing her studies abroad.
Who is Elizabeth Bagaya?
I am a make-up artiste, peer educator and mental health advocate. I enjoy shooting make-up videos as I share my passion with everyone else.
How did you feel taking over as interim Miss Uganda?
In the beginning when Brenda Nanyonjo told me that I would be the new Miss Uganda, I did not believe it. It took me a while to digest the news but I am glad I had time to adjust into the new role before the media caught wind of it. For the first time in the history of Miss Uganda, a first runner-up ended up becoming a reigning queen. The experience still gives me butterflies.
Did being crowned under such circumstance make you feel less of a queen?
The narrative that I was crowned without going through the rightful process is wrong. Although I came in as an interim, I had auditioned in 2019 and emerged first runner-up. In the pageant world, if the reigning queen for any reason fails to perform her duties, the first runner-up takes over the crown.
What was your experience holding the crown amid the Covid-19 pandemic?
It was hard because we were not allowed to gather or travel across the country. That really strained us because our works are ground works that require us to be out in public. Nevertheless, the Miss Uganda Foundation devised means and we delivered our messages to the communities while protecting them and ourselves.
During your reign, what projects did you spearhead?
Towards the end of the pandemic, together with the foundation, I finally went out into the communities to educate and sensitise young girls about menstrual health and hygiene, distribute reusable sanitary towels, educate the girls how to use and maintain reusable sanitary towels. I also encouraged the girls to abstain from sex in order to help eradicate early pregnancies, which is unfortunately on the rise in villages, and worsened with the pandemic.
What is your advice to the current Miss Uganda?
Dear Hannah, aspire to inspire others, follow your dreams and know you have a big sister here for you. All the best!
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